Alternative facts aren’t lies — they’re just another way to say everything is awesome despite evidence to the contrary | Opinion | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Alternative facts aren’t lies — they’re just another way to say everything is awesome despite evidence to the contrary

The Donald doesn’t like to be called a liar, even though he’s really good at it

click to enlarge Charlie Deitch
Charlie Deitch

Editor’s Note: The following piece is not just the opinion of City Paper editor Charlie Deitch, the 16-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize and three-time Emmy winner for his work on the 1970s sitcom Maude, co-starring Bea Arthur; it is the opinion of every single person in America. The people came from all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Dutch Antilles; they got together over the weekend and asked Deitch to write this, so the world can know how the entire country feels about the first days of the Trump presidency.

The meeting took place at the Hyatt Regency Conference and Banquet Center in Las Cruces, N.M. Catered by legendary chef Wolfgang Puck, the luncheon featured unicorn burgers and corn-on-the-cob planted in the “corn patch” featured in the film Field of Dreams. (Sub-Editor’s Note: Honus Wagner appeared to Deitch in the corn patch and said if the Pirates traded Andrew McCutchen, the stadium would crumble and slide into the river, never to be seen again).

At that meeting, 26 catrillion-billion-thousand people signed a six-million-page power of attorney giving Deitch the authority to speak on their behalf and to drive their cars whenever he chooses. However, on the plane ride back to Pittsburgh, the plane was overtaken by various “monsters.” Deitch was able, with the help of noted actor Samuel L. Jackson, to defeat the monsters, but not before the letter was eaten by a large gargoyle named Carl. However, anyone in the country, Puerto Rico and the Dutch Antilles can verify Deitch’s claims; if they deny it, they are lying.

Just when I thought the shit-show that is Trump’s America couldn’t get any stranger, this weekend we were treated to yet another brilliant Trump administration invention: “alternative facts.” Despite the
fact that Trump’s inauguration was more lightly attended than Barack Obama’s, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told a different tale: It was the largest attended Inaugural in history, “period.” After he won in November, Trump had told us it would be, and we all know The Donald doesn’t like to be called a liar, even though he’s really good at it.

And then on Sunday came the most exciting episode of Meet the Press in a very long time. Host Chuck Todd asked Trump’s counselor Kellyanne Conway — the best worst spin doctor ever — how the administration could make such an obviously false claim. Conway said, “You’re saying it’s a falsehood, and Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts.” On Monday, Spicer said he was trying to counter the media’s attempt to “delegitimize” Trump’s presidency. 

Since he began his campaign and started making one false statement after another because it fit his agenda, Trump has been at war with “the media.” And just like he somehow convinced the American public to vote for him, he has convinced it that the liberal media was lying and out to get him. Now the term “fake news” is the go-to for anybody who doesn’t agree with a set of facts. And horseshit news outlets like Breitbart, Radix Journal and American Renaissance became the source for those looking to have news tailored to their beliefs. 

Stories that people normally dismiss out of hand because they’re so obviously false are now gaining traction. Remember Pizzagate? That’s the rumor that alleged that Hillary Clinton and top Democratic aides were running a satanic child-sex ring out of the basement of a pizza shop. It seemed ridiculous that anyone would believe it — until a guy decided to shoot up the pizza shop late last year because he believed it. It’s unbelievable that people can’t see through obvious falsehoods — or choose not to. But in the spirit of education, I’ve written three examples of personal facts about myself, and then rewritten them with “alternative facts.”

Fact: I am a charming, well-liked, funny 45-year-old overweight guy whose wife is kind enough to tell him how handsome he is.

Alternative fact: Not only do I look like Leonardo DiCaprio, I am Leonardo DiCaprio.

 Fact: I attended Youngstown State University and was proud to work on the school’s newspaper, The Jambar. I once ate a bologna, clam and chocolate-pudding sandwich with ketchup on top to win a $10 bet.

Alternative fact: After receiving my bachelor’s degree from Brown, I received an MBA from Harvard, a J.D. from Princeton, a Ph.D. from Oxford and an STD at the Youngstown Greyhound station.

And, finally, in reverse order this time:

Alternative Fact: Nobody with an ounce of sanity would believe that anything in the above editor’s note is true.

Fact: At least 1.5 million people will claim to have been at the meeting and swear that unicorn tastes exactly like chicken.

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